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Bob Costas Doesn’t Listen To Outside Criticism

“I think if you don’t set the stage and frame it a little bit, then the casual fan isn’t drawn in as much and they don’t understand the dynamics of the series.”

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Bob Costas is serving as the play-by-play voice of ALDS between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians for TBS. He has received some criticism for his work from various outlets and sources, but he says he doesn’t listen to it.

The TBS announcer joined The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland Tuesday morning to discuss ALDS, before Lima brought up the criticism Costas has received.

“I see people like Mike Francesa and others that are critical of the way you call the sport,” Lima said after lamenting the lack of hearing Costas regularly over the course of the past few years. “I sucked up to you simply to ask this question: Does that hurt you? When you hear people come after you that way? Someone who has done it at your level for as long as you’ve done it.”

“I’m gonna give you an honest answer: I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it because of the dynamics that we’ve been talking about. So I understand what it is. There was one comment — in line with what you’re talking about — ‘You don’t have to say these things about the Yankees. Everybody knows this.’ Does that person understand the nature of a national broadcast? Yes, everybody from Sacramento to Bangor, Maine knows who Aaron Judge is this year, but what about other factors within it.

I think if you don’t set the stage and frame it a little bit, then the casual fan isn’t drawn in as much and they don’t understand the dynamics of the series. Once you move along past the first couple of games, then the series takes on its own narrative and you do less of that. But today, for example, there has to be a little of that, because there will be casual fans tuning in — many of them for the first time because people tend to watch a deciding game, casual fans, more often than they would a game earlier in the series — so I understand everything that goes into that.”

Costas continued by saying no one can be more critical of him than he is.

“I’m also very self critical and I understand there are occasions when I don’t quite meet my own standard. I don’t quite accomplish what I set out to do, and I do understand that in possibly Game 1 of this series — because I was so well-prepared — I was trying to frame the series. In Game 1, the balance might have tilted too much to some of that background and history of the season and the history of the two franchises, which are interesting.

“Both have interesting and deep histories. It wasn’t that it was wrong to do or wasn’t done effectively. The proportion of the balance might have been a little bit out of whack. But after that? I think we just called the games the way we should call the games.”

Costas then mentioned with alternate broadcasts being in vogue, Major League Baseball should work with its network partners to formulate an alternate broadcast with the voices fans are familiar with.

“If the networks can figure out a way to cobble together the ratings — because let’s say if the Yankees play the Astros or the Yankees had played the Dodgers in the World Series, those are two huge markets — as long as they don’t give up the rating, I would think they could create an alternative platform where Cleveland announcers for this series and Yankee announcers for this series could call the game. They wouldn’t be able to have their own production crew. That would be unwieldy.

“But they could put their voices, in real time, over the pictures the network is providing. And as long as the rating locally, which would be drained a little bit in both cities, as long as that could be added to the network’s rating and as long as they played the same commercials so that the network wasn’t hurt in terms of revenue, that would be a reasonable alternative for people to have.

“Then Cleveland would have to, of course, decide if they wanted to put Tom Hamilton on television instead of on radio, and his style is suited greatly towards radio, but I’m sure he could adapt, but the point is why not allow that option to people? And I think a lot of people would sample both. They might go back forth, but at least they would have whatever their preference would be. And if the technology allows for it, I don’t see why baseball couldn’t go ahead and do it.”

Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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